Why I Don't Cook Big Thanksgiving Meals Anymore
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A letter from BurgerFit CEO, Alane Boyd
Ever since moving away from Louisiana in my early twenties, Thanksgiving has looked different for me almost every year. Growing up, my Thanksgiving was so much fun: going to my grandparent’s and aunt’s houses, eating all their yummy food, and playing with my cousins. As I grew older, I began to realize what a feat it is to pull off the Thanksgivings that I enjoyed as a kid. You have to spend all day cooking! When I started my own family, I briefly did the all-day Thanksgiving preparations. But within the last few years, I’ve started to view Thanksgiving as a day of rest instead of a day I spend cooking. As a working mom, I am constantly exhausted. Why would I want to spend all day cooking just to eat for 10 minutes and then have to clean everything up?! That sounds like a nightmare. So, I decided to create new traditions with my family that isn’t centered around the food we eat. . . A few years ago, instead of typical Thanksgiving dishes, we just had brats and mac and cheese. I have tried to get the rest of the family on board now that many of them live in my same town but they refuse to convert 🙂
Here is my moment of truth: I do not and have not missed the all-day cooking event that Thanksgiving used to be for me. Traditions don’t have to be about food, they are whatever you decide them to be. Our tradition is to spend time with each other, instead of stressing about the menu. This year is going to be hard for so many for a magnitude of different reasons and my heart hurts for them. Our Thanksgiving is going to look different too. My birthday is only a few days after Thanksgiving and we usually take a long weekend vacation together making Thanksgiving and my birthday such a special time. This year, I find myself feeling disappointed that we won’t be able to travel to the places we want to go.
But last week I was reminded why we celebrate Thanksgiving in the first place: to be thankful. I had a realization that I need to be more grateful right now, more than ever.
This realization came to me last week while I was being interviewed by Chris Colin, writer, and creator of Six Feet of Separation, a kids newspaper chronicling the COVID times. Chris wanted to find out more about the families of children that have been featured in his newspaper (Fletcher has been published twice in his newspaper with the meditations he writes which then led to his podcast interview with NPR RadioLab).
As we talked, Chris kept saying, “Wow, it sounds like everything is going amazing for you this year.” I had to think about that because it doesn’t always feel that way. I’m just like every other mom with way too much on their plate, trying to take care of her family which has changed tremendously since March. I’m homeschooling Fletcher, trying to run a business during a pandemic, keep the house clean, care for my parents, cook, do laundry, and everything else that gets put on a mother’s plate! But when I take a step back, I realize how lucky I am. I get to spend every single day with Fletcher and my husband, Micah. I get to run my company BurgerFit and work with an amazing team. I get overwhelmed and some days are hard, but they are hard from a privileged point of view. We don’t have the hardships that so many have had this year. I live on a “farm” with three crazy dogs, two adorable cats, and six chickens. I wake up every morning with a hot cup of coffee and the freedom to make anything I want for the family for breakfast. I have a family that I love and who love me. With these things alone, I am living a blessed life. That is a privilege. It’s my responsibility to express gratitude every day for the blessings I have and especially during this season of Thanksgiving and in the year 2020, I want to be thankful for the simplest of things because those are truly the things that matter. I already have everything I need.
I hope you and your family can find a new tradition to make this Thanksgiving special. You can even steal my idea of making brats and mac and cheese! Instead of our annual Thanksgiving and birthday trip, Fletcher, Micah, and I will just be with our family. Even so, I have so much to be thankful for. We all probably have something to be thankful for, and traditions can be changed. This Thanksgiving can be a new start for you, and what better time than when we are getting close to a new year? You don’t have to wait for the New Year to start a refresh, you can start any day of the year. So why not Thanksgiving?
Are you looking for healthier Thanksgiving recipe options?
Check out our blog: 25+ Thanksgiving Recipes Perfect For Every Dietary Lifestyle
Looking to stay on top of your health goals during the holiday season?
Check out our blog: Top 8 Holiday Healthy Eating Tips
Meet our Founder
Alane has kept her 40 lb weight loss off since 2013, and created BurgerFit and Cooking with My Friends as a way to get her family eating better. Her health journey started in 2012 after being diagnosed with high blood pressure and obesity. Frustrated and determined, Alane decided to make small, sustainable changes in her diet so that it would be maintainable for a lifetime. Now Alane maintains a healthy weight range and has incorporated quick and easy recipes that keep her picky family members eating better!